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A conversation about UNIQ with Hugh Chappelle of Quivira Vineyards.

Trione Winery


In the heart of France’s Cote des Blancs region, fourth generation winemaker Laurent Hostomme broke the mold on conventional aging practices for his experimental new cuvee made from the Chouilly winery’s oldest vines. After four years in the cellar, Hostomme designated a 500-bottle portion of his 100% sparkling chardonnay to be dropped 200 feet below the surface of the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Brittany.

In total darkness and at a constant temperature of 55°F, the select bottles of M.Hostomme Abysse Grand Cru aged 12 months under these ideal conditions before being recovered.

Atypical atmospheric pressure and water current shifts are thought to affect the chemical makeup in wine, giving credence to the idea that wine will in fact age differently underwater. Steady underwater conditions slow the curing process to a crawl, creating more intense flavors and aromas, and, not surprisingly, giving the wine more depth.

The silty bottles are sold as is, with labels and capsules looking roughly deteriorated from their year at sea, but a look at the clean seal on the underside of the cork proves the wine was untouched by the elements.

M.Hostomme has been a satisfied client of Ganau for many years, and chose the unsurpassed sealing properties of Ganau’s UNIQ sparkling cork for this groundbreaking experiment. The UNIQ cork verified its supreme quality under Hostomme’s rigorous undersea testing, creating a flawless seal and expanding perfectly upon opening.




  1. Cork trees thrive in the Mediterranean area such as  Portugal, Algeria, Spain, Morocco, France, Italy and Tunisia.
  2. Cork trees live on average 200 years, but there are cork trees that are 500 years old. They grow up to 75 feet tall.
  3. A cork tree is ready to be harvested after it is 40 years old.
  4. Apparently you can find nice cork trees on the grounds at UC Davis and Disneyland. We personally saw beautiful specimen in the Sonoma Plaza and at the Carmel Mission.
  5. There are mentions of cork and its uses in many ancient documents and literature surviving from as far back as 400 BC
  6. Seventeenth century French monk, Dom Perignon, is credited with being the first to recognize the ability of cork to contain sparkling wines. 
  7. The bark is ready to be re-harvested after 9 to 12 years. A 200 years old cork tree can be harvested over 16 times.
  8. The bark is stripped manually by expert harvesters in the months of May to August.
  9. Cork planks are stored outside for a minimum of 6 months to dry up before they start being processed.impilate
  10. 1 m3 (35.3 Cubic feet) of cork planks weighs 7-7.5Kg (15.4-16.5 lbs). From 100Kg (220lbs) of raw planks you can obtain 62Kg (136.6lbs) of usable planks.
  11. Cork is actually made of water-resistant cells that separate the outer bark from the delicate interior bark. It has a unique set of properties not found in any other naturally existing material. It is lightweight, rot resistant, fire resistant, termite resistant, impermeable to gas and liquid, soft and buoyant.planks
  12. Cork Oak forests contain one of the world’s highest levels of forest biodiversity including endemic plants and endangered species such as the Iberian Lynx, the Iberian Imperial Eagle, and the Barbary Deer. It is also vital source of income for thousands of family farmers, who for generations have worked these forests. These forests absorb millions of tons of CO2 each year and are a vast provider of oxygen to our planet. The forests also provide the greatest defense against the desertification of this region. The cork forests are one of the most sustainable and environmentally harvested forests in the world.

Get to know us: Gina Isi


Name: Gina Isi

@ Ganau you are the: Accounting Manager

You have worked @ Ganau for: 7 years

If you were a wine, you would be a: Sparkling

If you were a Disney character you would be: Merida from Brave

If they could bottle your personality what would the label read: Eternally Fun

Kids: 2

Pets: 2 Cats Kenicki & Bag

Home cooked, restaurant or take out: restaurant

My idol is: Bette Midler

My theme song is: Drops of Jupiter

Something you said you’d never do but did anyway was: I said I’d never answer  my kids questions by saying  “Because I said so”

Something you did but will never do again: Run a 5k and drive a stick in San Francisco!

My favorite physical activity is: Crossfit

I can’t live without: Family & Friends

Get to know us: Jeff Morrow


Name: Jeff Morrow

@ Ganau you are the: Customer Service & Logistics

You have worked @ Ganau for: 6 years

If you were a wine, you would be a: Syrah

If you were a Disney character you would be: Donald Duck

If they could bottle your personality what would the label read: Truth, Love, Loyalty

Kids: 1

Pets: I have a toddler at home, no additional responsibility needed

Home cooked, restaurant or take out: home cooked (my wife is a great cook!)

My idol is: My Pop

My theme song is: Count On Me by Bruno Mars

Something you said you’d never do but did anyway was: skydiving

Something you did but will never do again: drive across country in a station wagon

My favorite physical activity is: running/Gym

I can’t live without: family is first but coffee is a close second


Get To Know US: Claudia Lopez


Name: Claudia Lopez

@ Ganau you are the:  Laboratory Technician

You have worked @ Ganau for: 6 years

If you were a wine, you would be a: a Rosé Champagne

If you were a Disney character you would be: Daisy Duck

If they could bottle your personality what would the label read: Optimistic!

Kids: three – Emily, Jimena, and Joe

Pets:  five fish – A, E, I, O and U

Home cooked, restaurant or take out:  home-cooked

My idol is:  Elephant

My theme song is:  Asi es La Vida

Something you said you’d never do but did anyway was: singing karaoke

Something you did but will never do again: drink tequila

My favorite physical activity is: riding bicycles with my kids

I can’t live without: my family and milk

Get to know us: Kerry Smith-King


Name: Kerry Smith-King

@ Ganau you are the: Sales Consultant, Sonoma County

You have worked @ Ganau for: 8 years

If you were a wine, you would be a: late harvest dessert wine

If you were a Disney character you would be: Minnie

If they could bottle your personality what would the label read: sweet & kind

Kids: 2

Pets: German Shepherd, Zeus  

Home cooked, restaurant or take out: home cooked

My idol is: JLo

My theme song is: you make me smile

Something you said you’d never do but did anyway was: bungee Jumping

Something you did but will never do again: bungee Jumping, lol

My favorite physical activity is: rock climbing

I can’t live without: caffeine!


15 years old_cork

At a Ganau family gathering in Sardinia, we opened a bottle of Barolo from our cellar. It paired well with the main course: home cooked wild boar and lamb with artichokes (it took a full day and three ovens to cook it all). We found a 15 years old Ganau cork in it. The wine was delicious and the cork looked pretty awesome.

Here are the technical specs of the wine from the Giovanni Rosso website. We really enjoyed it.



Denomination: Barolo D.O.C.G. Cerretta
Wine Area: 100% Nebbiolo
Grades: 14.5% vol
Production: 8000 bottles
First year of production: 1994
Vineyard name / Locality: Cerretta / Serralunga d’Alba
Years planted: 1984, 1996, 2000
Grape-Harvest: Harvested by hand
Fermentation: Vinification in cement tanks, using yeast. Fermentation lasts around 29 days with Remontages, Delestages, and daily punching down of the cap
Ageing: Elevage happens in large 25 hl Fontainebleau Forest French oak casks for 36 months
Bottling: The wine is bottled without filtration
Color: Concentrated and bright garnet
Bouquet: Violets, roses and cherry fruit with notes of coffee and layers of complexity
Taste: The palate shows a wealth of Serralunga characteristics: full body, silky tannins, complexity and freshness. Bright red fruits combine with savoury, earthy flavours, a complete structure and a long finish
Evoluzione: 35 anni
Pairings: Stews, red meats and darker game such as Wild Boar
Total Acidity: 6,20%
Sugar: 0
pH: 3,6
Maximum Serving Temperature: 16°-17° C
Glasses: Burgundy balloons


immagine post 1
Sense of Place artwork definitely won our hearts and minds as the most meaningful and creative design of 2013.
Leslie Bowlus, owner and wine maker, told us how she developed this idea. In her own words:

My life long passion for food and wine and my travels to the world’s greatest places and famous wine regions made me aware of the fact that a wine should reflect where it came from. I have always loved the fact that wherever I was in the world, the most delicious wine was made from varietals grown best in that region which perfectly paired with the local cuisine. I would appreciate that the wine I was drinking was from the perfect place. My philosophy developed into a belief that a wine should reflect its “somewhere-ness” and be true to its varietal characteristics. It should reveal the uniqueness of its terroir, vineyard site, soils, climate and history. The wine should show itself as having a SENSE OF PLACE rather than following the trend of the moment.   My winemaking style supports this “Sense of Place” philosophy which includes the use of native yeast found in the vineyard and allowing the wine to age “sur-lie” with the least amount of intervention as possible.   I decided on using the world map on my logo to convey my philosophy to the consumers and, by adding the tag line “find your place”, to create a connection between them and my wine.